History shaping Brentford

Heritage and history is a key aspect that the design team have considered within their proposals. This board shows the historical development of Brentford. It explains in a little more detail how decisions have been made about heritage and its retention, as well as the future identity of the area.

Charles Dickens describing Brentford

in his novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, 1843 said:

“... You groped your way for an hour through lanes and byways, and courtyards, and passages; and you never once emerged upon anything that might reasonably be called a street.”

English Heritage Report 2000 describes the area...

“Brentford is unusual as it has been continually inhabited since pre-roman times and its development encompasses many facets of industrial archaeology, from the early river borne transport of local produce and simple water related industry, through to its heyday as a booming industrial town. Here extreme poverty existed in the midst of splendid civic buildings; the peaceful River Brent gave way to the gritty working wharves and industries of the GWR railway and dock. These features, which were so important in shaping the history and development of industry and transport across the country as a whole, and despite years of neglect and economic decline, are still evident today.”

Brentford changing over time

Latest news

My Brentford

Update: 29.09.12

Members of the public are invited to an exhibition of the planning application submission

Tue 2nd Oct 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Wed 3rd Oct 5.00pm – 8.00pm
Sat 6th Oct 11.00am – 2.00pm
Mon 8th Oct 11.00am – 2.00pm

The Docking Station,
108 Brentford High Street,

1865: The town layout was orientated around the High Street [a]. Working ‘yards’ linked the High Street to the canal [ b]. The railway had just recently arrived [c].

1895: The town layout begins to be reorientated towards the canal and the railway terminus.

Heritage study - ranking yards & buildings

The methodology used for measuring the value of existing buildings is a process designed to accommodate the views of all previous studies and the design team’s own analysis. The site is split into yards and buildings, with the buildings grouped into logical areas.

Yards are measured according to the following criteria:

  • Quality of what is left
  • viability of re-establishing route
  • value of permeability

buildings are measure according to the following criteria:

  • Potential for re-use
  • State of repair
  • Character
  • Efficiency of land use

Heritage retention proposal

Please note that this is current thinking. The final decision on the retention of buildings and yards will be dependent on further studies and the masterplan development.

Brentford buildings

1935: The town layout becomes more focused on the railway, now the primary line of communication.

1961: The focus of the town layout shifts back towards the High Street, as motor vehicles
become the primary form of communication.